Its not very often that a musician with a lifetime of experience and success gets to be rediscovered by both the public and himself...but that's the case with the new
John Oates solo project "PHUNK SHUI". "I feel I'm in a unique position, in that people really don't know what to expect from me musically and yet my name is so familiar to them...its cool that after all this time, I can do whatever I want without being restricted by anyone's expectations."
After 30 years as a professional recording artist, John has finally made his first C.D. without his longtime partner Daryl Hall. It's ironic that after waiting all this time, it took less than a month to pick the songs, find a label, put a band together, record and mix the entire project.
After some initial encouragement from his wife, "The whole thing came together for me one night in my studio when I discovered an old demo tape, on it were four songs I had totally forgotten about that just blew me away...but the most amazing thing about them was the fact that they seemed to mesh seamlessly with the new songs that I had been writing. I assembled the material in a random order, burned a C.D. and suddenly I had an album!"
The songs are a well-crafted collection of sure to be pop classics many written in collaboration with writers such as Keith Follese, Jed Leiber, Arthur Baker, and Steve Postell. Then there is the killer band: Steve Holley on drums, Tom "T-Bone" Wolk on bass, Jed Leiber on keyboards and of course, John on guitar.
The sound is a blend of 70's inspired funk and acoustic soul. "I knew that these songs needed to be played! I really wanted a band feel to this project... I wanted to get back to sitting in a studio playing live and catching a vibe with great musicians...the most important thing for me was rediscovering the spontaneity and joy in the recording process."
Check out the singing..."Yeah,I did almost all of the vocals myself...I enjoy working out and layering background arrangements. On the lead vocals, I was very conscious of delivering and doing justice to the lyrics...its kind of an 'old school' approach but to me its all about making the listener believe that the singer believes."
PHUNK SHUI... the somewhat tongue-in-cheek title is alot more than just a clever play on a phrase. "Its all about balance and harmony in my life and my music...you know putting the funk in all the right places. It takes a long time to get it right and now finally it has all come together for me in this record."